Guilty Feelings

Guest post by Shelley Shepard Gray

I spent a lot of time thinking about being guilty while I was writing HIS GUILT. It didn’t start out that way. At first, I was simply writing about my hero’s return to his hometown and the many regrets he had about his past. Then-as things often go while writing-I realized he had some things he felt guilty about. Not wanting him to be the only person in the book with a past, other characters started chatting about their guilty feelings, too.
Guest post by Shelley Shepard Gray
And the next thing I knew, I was feeling guilty about some things, too.
Oh, nothing too bad. Some things were kind of silly. Like I would feel guilty that I had eaten that donut for breakfast. Then I would feel bad that I hadn’t walked enough to make my nifty new FitBit happy.
Then, finally, it would all boil down to Eddie.
Eddie is our one-year-old half-dachshund/ half-beagle puppy who I bought up in Amish country during last year’s Girlfriend Getaway. He’s adorable, he’s sweet, and he needs a lot of attention. He also has very big brown eyes that look sad whenever I’m not giving him attention. Yep, he’s got me wrapped around his paw. Anyway, he loves his walks. That means if I’m writing so much that I don’t take him for that walk, he gets sad and I feel guilty.
It seems I’ve become pretty adept at heaping on guilt for a lot of silly reasons. I don’t know if that matters, though that clenched feeling in the pit of my stomach feels the same whether it’s about ice cream or something to do with my family or work.  I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think a lot of us wish we were more attentive, more athletic, more something and happily take the blame for these faults. But it can certainly be exhausting.
Through the course of HIS GUILT, several of my characters learn to make peace with themselves. Their burdens are lighter when they relieve themselves of all that guilty weight. And in its place? Things like gratitude and grace, peace and hope. Much better emotions to carry around, I think! 
I think I’m learning to embrace some of those same things, too. And as for Eddie? Well, I’ve started walking that puppy first thing in the morning. I’m happy, he’s tired for hours so I can write.
So far, so good, which, I’ve learned, is good enough. 

Guest post by Shelley Shepard Gray
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Catch Up With Ms. Gray On: Website 🔗Goodreads 🔗Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!


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  1. Great post except now I'm thinking what I am guilty about and that ice cream sundae I had last night leads the list. :-)


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